Into the Cold
BY CONNOR MCPHERSON
I walked out of my family’s apartment in the West Village of New York City and the cold caressed my face like the cold hand of the grim reaper… This is how I knew that fall was here and that the best summer of my life was now over. Fall meant back to school and the start of my senior year of high school. Most people were so excited for the start of senior year because it’s the “best” year of high school and high school is the “best time” of your life and so and so on. If high school is the best time of my life I’m going to be really depressed because I feel there is so much to look forward to, but I am getting a little ahead of myself so let’s back track to the summer.
My family has a house at Sebago Lake in Maine that we go to every summer. I know what you’re thinking, “This family must be really well off.” But that’s not the case. We are a pretty modest family and my parents have worked really hard to give us a comfortable life. My family has spent the summers at our house since I was eight years old. I always loved going up there, but this past summer was the best by far. This past summer I would meet someone that would become one of the most important people in my life. I think I should tell you about who I am since you know my back-story without knowing the person.
My name is Leo McDermott. I am 18 years old. I have blonde hair, blue eyes, and I’m 5’11” on a good day. I have an athletic build from playing hockey my whole life and was blessed with pretty good genes so you could say I lucked out in that category. I am quiet and considered to be on the shy and introverted side. I would usually just keep to myself or spend time with my family until I met someone who was so important and who would eventually open me up to new things. This is a story about the influence and importance some people have on our lives and how they come into your life suddenly even if you weren’t really looking for them.
The date was June 12th, 1984 and it was a beautiful summer day in Maine. It was nice and warm with just a slight enough breeze to keep you cool. My family had just arrived at our lake house for the summer after a ten-hour car ride. I was excited to finally be here but also really tired from the drive. That was until I saw her walking down by the beach in the distance. She was petite and had shoulder length blonde hair. I stopped mid walk, dropped my suitcase and just starred because I had never seen someone so beautiful. She moved at a quick pace and had the biggest smile on her face. You could tell she brightens up every room she walks into. I knew I had to meet her and that was my goal. I had two months to complete my mission so hopefully I could do it quickly, but like I said, I’m not the most outgoing person.
The next day after we were all settled in, I woke up early to go for a swim in the lake. It was a calm morning and the sun had just made it over the horizon. The birds were chirping and fresh air filled my lungs. Life was good here. It was slower and more relaxing. It was nice to get out of the city for a couple months and enjoy a slower paced lifestyle. Sebago Lake is my favorite place in the world. I put my feet in the water and it was cold but would also be an effective way to wake up once I jumped in. Right as I was about to jump in I heard a sweet and soft voice say “Hey!”, so I looked back and it was her. She was standing about ten feet behind me with a big bright smile on her face. I looked at her and gave her a wave. Then she started walking towards me because she realized that was her cue. As she approached me I could really see how beautiful she was. On top of her perfect complexion, she had bluish green eyes that I would later learn changed colors; something we had in common. Happiness seemed to pour out of her. She walked up to me and said “Hi! My name is Kay Macintyre” and I said “Hey. I’m Leo McDermott.” “Ooh you are Scottish like me! Look at us already killing it” she said.
I know it sounds super cliché but it was love at first sight. After our introductions she looked at me kind of funny and said, “Were you about to jump in?” I gave her a wry smile and said “Of course! I jump in the lake every morning.” She looked at the lake and then back at me and said “Then what are we waiting for?!” and she ran towards me and grabbed my arm and we jumped in together. I would soon learn that this is how everything would be with Kay and I; spontaneous and full of adventure and she really brought out that side in me. It’s not that Kay brought this side out of me but rather; I finally had someone to be able to tap into it with.
Kay has a strong personality which balances well with my quiet and calm personality. We had many things in common, but we also had our differences. After that first time we met, we hit it off and spent the rest of the summer side-by side. Every morning she would be standing outside of my house with a two bagels and two glasses of orange juice. We would sit on the beach together and watch the sun rise as we ate our bagels. Kay was an early riser so she always had our day mapped out before I even thought about waking up. All I wanted to do was spend time with Kay. We would go exploring together, which usually consisted of kayaking and hiking.
We both shared a love for the night sky and we shared our deepest experiences with each other as we lay under them. Then I looked over at Kay and I kissed her. After that, things started to heat up and we made love that night under the stars. Nobody had ever made me feel like I did when I was with her. She brought out the best in me and made me a better person. We fell for each other hard and fast and with each passing day of summer I would fall more and more in love with her.
I was not in a very good place before I met her. After I met Kay, I saw life differently. This was the first summer she had ever spent at Sebago Lake. The only reason she was there was because her parents were getting divorced and one of her aunts had just bought a house on the lake so she went and stayed with her. Kay was from Seattle, Washington so she was a long way from home. It seemed like it was fate that she was at the lake at the same time. It was like we were meant to be there together. If all of these things didn’t happen to Kay, I probably would have never met Kay. I think it’s so fascinating that someone can come into your life out of the blue and become so important so quickly. Everybody has that one person that they connect with and that understands them like no one else does. Kay was my person and I love her with all of my heart. It was nearing the end of summer, which meant I was going back to New York and Kay was going back to Seattle to live with her mom. This summer was the best summer of my life but knowing that we would be on other sides of the country in a couple weeks with little communication broke my heart.
Love is one of the strongest feelings you can have for someone and I know what you are probably thinking, “How could you love someone so much after only two months?” but I knew I loved her. There are some people you meet and you just know. I am a strong believer that there is a person out there for everyone who will never leave your side and that knows you inside and out. She was that person for me. It is so weird how someone so important could enter your life abruptly and leave at the same rate. If we lose touch I believe that we will someday cross paths again.
I stopped by Kay’s house one last time before we would go our separate ways.
“I love you Leo.”